Friday, July 13, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Mickey Cochrane

Considered one of the greatest catchers in Major League history, Mickey Cochrane compiled a .320 lifetime batting average with 119 homers and 832 RBI while playing for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane's playing career came to a sudden end on May 25, 1937 when he was hit in the head by a pitch by Yankees pitcher Bump Hadley. Hospitalized for seven days, the injury nearly killed him. However, he recovered and went on to manage in the Majors for 5 seasons before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.

I completed this sketch card in June 2012.

10 random facts about Mickey Cochrane:
  • Cochrane attended Boston University, where he played 5 different sports.
  • Despite being a catcher, which is a position many slower players have played, he was often inserted into the leadoff spot by Athletics manager Connie Mack.
  • Cochrane won the 1928 Most Valuable Player Award mostly due to his leadership and defensive skills, when he led the American League in putouts and hit for a .293 batting average along with 10 home runs and 58 RBI.
  • He would win 3 World Series as a player- 2 with the Athletics and 1 with the Tigers.
  • During the Tigers' World Series title run in 1935, he served as the team's player-manager.
  • Due in part to his high strung nature, he suffered a nervous breakdown during the 1936 season.
  • Cochrane hit a home run in the last official at-bat of his Major League career.
  • Despite the head injury that resulted from his beaning, Cochrane served in the United States Navy during World War II.
  • His .320 batting average was the highest career total for catchers until being surpassed by Joe Mauer in 2009.
  • He hit for the cycle twice in his career, on July 22, 1932 and on August 2, 1933.

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